In partnership, Plumpton College, British Airways and the Sussex Council of Training Providers undertook collaborative research into how best to embed, improve and facilitate the core skills of literacy, numeracy and digital skills into apprenticeship programmes.

Working with British Airways Global Learning Academy highlighted the importance of collaboration between employers and training providers

In 2018, BA became an apprenticeship provider in order to create a bespoke programme for new apprentices with their experienced team at their Global Learning Academy. BA were keen to partner with this OTLA project, in order to support the development of their training resources, for their internal coaches and new apprentices.

With British Airways

The Infographics produced as part of the wider project, were collaborated on with employers and teachers from both British Airways, and the SCTP, in order to ensure they were relevant, and demonstrated best practices for supporting learners face-to-face and remotely. This feedback allowed the Infographics to focus both on workplace relevant technical skills, and the necessary core skills needed within apprenticeship frameworks.

British Airways Global Learning Academy was a unique partner on this project due to their status as both an international employer and apprenticeship training provider. A key element to this collaboration was the need to have literacy and numeracy delivered at the same time as specialist training with BA, so these skills were embedded in BA's teaching process.

What impact did the project have?

British Airways as an organisation need both excellent teaching practices, and also international prestige as an employer - their partnership with Plumpton allowed a double-edged look at how knowledge of effective teaching and industry furthers learner experience and develops crucial skills. Plumpton College were able to take a look at the Global Learning Academy's training, and share our own experience of Further and Higher education with managers and coaches.

This meant that awareness of commercial training provider needs was improved, as well as the need for excellent teaching within these organisations. Producing the Infographics with BA meant that embedding core skills within apprenticeship programmes is easier, as there is more understanding on both sides as to the 'why' of learning, and how to improve core skills from both commercial and educational perspectives.

Plumpton held an SCTP Members Meeting, presenting ‘Embedding Numeracy Literacy & ICT in the workplace’ and giving employers a chance to feedback on research, infographics and how to embed core skills

The Sussex Council of Training Providers

Working alongside the SCTP was particularly beneficial for evaluating the wider impact of the project, and the Infographics could have on employers, and training providers. The SCTP worked collaboratively with Plumpton on the design of the Infographics, alongside employers such as BA, and apprentices - this meant that the Infographics were relevant to both industry specialists, and the new apprenticeship standards. We showcased the project, the Infographics, and our experience working with BA and Booker, at the Sussex Council of Training Providers conference in February 2019.

Using the SCTP's invaluable Sussex Council of Provider's network meant that Plumpton had the opportunity to work collaboratively with other like-minded, forward thinking organisations, enabling strong employer links. This came about mainly through attending SCTP meetings,conferences, and running workshops in order to gather employers and providers views on how best to deliver these core skills, and their opinions on the Infographics.

What difference did the project make?

So far, 93 organisations have copies of the Infographics to use with their own employees and apprentices. 22 of these organisations and employers have taken part in workshops or events which look closer at the benefit of these Infographics, and the wider effect of the project.

The very fact that collaboration with a wide range of institutions, training providers, educational foundations and employers improved not only the relevance of the project to industry and education, but also how the project was disseminated, only furthers the importance of communication between the industry and education sectors. Focusing on using technology to advance this project and reach a wider audience was also crucial - whether that was through e-resources, online communication, and a mix of teaching and resources in both a physical and technological classroom environment. The SCTP provided an invaluable network which enabled a better, more informed evaluation of the benefits of this project.